Monday, June 5, 2017

Movie Review: Alexander (2004)

We watched the director's cut of this film last night, and I have to say that no matter what Oliver Stone (he considers Alexander to be his magnum opus)  keeps doing to tweak the releases (there are currently four viersions of the film out), it doesn't work.

Where to begin to list the film's problems?
Greek warriors with Irish accents?  Alexander's mother (who was herself the daughter of the king of a Greek city-state) with a eastern European or Russian accent?  A black Roxanne?  Interminable battle scenes? Deliberately blurred and shaky camera work during the battle scenes (one reviewer gave a name for this effect, but I don't recall what it was).

The acting is less than wonderful, and it isn't helped by a really uneven script.

But the worst thing in the movie is Alexander, himself.  The historic Alexander was blond.  Colin Farrell, who plays Alexander is not.  In the early parts of the film he looks like he's wearing a blond wig purchased at a party store.   Then there are his eyebrows - dark; and his nearly constant five o'clock shadow - extremely dark.  The many close-ups of Alexander's face are distracting, because we see a man with blond hair, and dark eyebrows and beard.  Later, when he's gone without shaving for several days, it's even worse.  In fact, the only times in the film when he appears convincing is when he's just had a really close shave - then, and only then, do you not notice the contrast.

Oliver Stone, by all accounts, must have been totally besotted with Colin Farrell.  It's the only explanation for his playing the part.

The film cost an estimated $155 million to make, and by some accounts lost $40 million.

This is a typical close-up showing black stubble.

Here, with Angelina Jolie who plays his mother, Alexander looks more like the part.  Except for the eyebrows and dark roots showing, that is.

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